Cricket World Cup: Drunken England stars dropped for game against Canada

As only British sports stars can, several of England's players went to bars and drank copious amounts of alcohol, some of them getting drunk.

Drunken Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, England's Vice-Captain, even had to be rescued as he got into trouble when he took a pedalo out to sea. All this comes during a WORLD CUP and a few days after England lost their opening group game against New Zealand.

So he has been dropped for England's game against Canada today and several other players have been punished. He's also been stripped of the Vice-Captaincy. Bopara took Flintoff's place against Canada.

Cricket legends slam Flintoff's 'boozy antics' which led to match ban

18th March 2007

Flintoff was ditched from the national side in today's game against Canada

Cricket pundits have criticised Andrew Flintoff for the boozy off-field antics which led to him being dropped from today's World Cup clash against Canada.

Flintoff, 29, has been banned for one game and sacked as vice-captain, after taking part in a late-night drinking session following Friday's defeat against New Zealand.

Former England captains Nasser Hussain and Bob Willis both criticised the Lancashire player for his actions.

Hussain said Flintoff was setting a poor example to younger players while Willis added his behaviour was inappropriate.

"Freddie" Flintoff was dropped from the side for breaching team discipline amid reports he drunkenly sank a pedalo during a prank in the Caribbean in the early hours of Saturday.

Four other players were also reportedly punished following the night out near the team's hotel in St Lucia's Rodney Bay.

Hussain, captain between 1999 and 2003, said: "There is a history to this story. It is not the first time. In Australia he had three or four warnings about his drinking," he told Sky Sports.

"The management felt enough is enough. At some stage you have to have some strong management, even with your best cricketer.

"Well done England for finally for having some strong management.

"This is a pretty young side. A lot of the team look up to Flintoff and if you keep saying it's okay for Freddie they will think 'If he is doing it, I can do it'.

"This will now send a message to the others that this is not how you prepare as an England cricketer.

Footballers don't drink 48 hours before a match."

Willis added: "I think Freddie has been making a fool of himself since the celebrations of the 2005 Ashes.

"This is not the first time it has happened and I fear it won't be the last but I hope he can actually take stock of himself. He can't behave like that. Some of the players in the squad are only going to have one opportunity to play in a World Cup and they don't need their talisman behaving like that."

Former Australia opener Michael Slater felt it was right England took action now against Flintoff.

"I think it's a good message. You need to make an example at certain times and that message has to run through the team," he told Sky Sports.

"If it is Freddie (who is disciplined) then that is a strong message. Everyone will learn from it."

Slater also questioned the decision to make Flintoff skipper for the recent Ashes tour in the absence of the injured Michael Vaughan.

"Why was he made captain for Australia? This is part of Flintoff - he is a free spirit - but you can't have a captain carrying on like this."

Former international seamer Andrew Caddick told BBC Radio Five Live: "To be out till three or four o'clock after a match in which you have lost - you should be back at the hotel thinking about what has gone wrong not out gallivanting round enjoying yourself.

"There are certain individuals in the side that do like to have a jolly but there is a time and a place.

"I don't think it is a great scenario for the lads. They are not doing themselves any favours carrying on the way they are carrying on.

"This is a World Cup and you should be doing everything as a player to enhance your performance - not going out nightclubbing during the actual tournament."

The game between England and Canada is under way.

Here's the latest score -

England: 279-6
Canada: 8-1

So Canada have already lost a wicket having scored just 8 runs. The minnows need another 272 runs to win from the alloted 50 overs.
Given the Brits' propensity for drunkenness and hooliganism it's been a long time since they've been viewed favourably. That is sad.
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